When military commanders from China and India sat at the negotiating table on Monday night in an attempt to de-escalate border tensions, Gideon Rachman, a columnist for the Financial Times, published an article entitled “India picks a side in the new cold war,” arguing “it is folly for China to drive its rival into America’s arms.”
Border disputes between China and India did not appear overnight. There was a time when tensions posed a greater danger between the two. India did not become dependent on any other country then and would be far-fetched to argue that New Delhi would be forced to choose sides amid the latest border clash this time.
China has no intention to spark a border conflict which could lead to war. The clash in the Galwan Valley was triggered by provocations from the Indian side. Even Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi admitted that “nobody has intruded into our border.”
People like Rachman have overestimated the charm of US arms. We see countries and regions in the arms of the US, committed to siding with the US and willing to serve the American interests. Australia, Canada, and the island of Taiwan can be counted among them. But they either are trading their interests or sovereignty to the US or have no sovereignty at all (in the case of Taiwan), with their interests being controlled by the US. And, like it or not, they have to dance to the US’ tune now and then.
It is unimaginable for any real major power to stay in the US’ arms. And one of India’s prominent characteristics is the pursuit of diplomatic independence.
The relationship between Washington and New Delhi is far from how some Westerners have trumpeted. The two sides are merely making use of each other. The US is treating India as its pawn to promote the Indo-Pacific Strategy, contain rising China, and safeguard its global hegemony. India, on the other hand, is making use of its ties with the US to counterbalance China’s influence in Southeast Asia and as a deterrent to Pakistan. Yet India is well aware the US won’t help it achieve its goals.
Washington has been undermining New Delhi’s arms deals with Moscow, hoping to take control of India’s military industry. Is it possible that India is unaware of it? India’s purchase of weapons from Russia has already displayed New Delhi’s attitude.
No matter how many ups and downs await the China-India border row and what moves the Indian side will make next, China’s firm stance on border issues will not be shaken, that is, disputes should be resolved only through direct negotiations, which do not need any disturbance from external forces.
Originally published on www.globaltimes.cn